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FMCSA CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Requirement Approaching


The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) is establishing the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse). This new database will contain information pertaining to violations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) controlled substances (drug) and alcohol testing program for holders of CDLs.  The Clearinghouse rule requires FMCSA-regulated employers, Medical Review Officers (MROs), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs), consortia/third party administrators (C/TPAs), and other service agents to report to the Clearinghouse information related to violations of the drug and alcohol regulations in 49 Code of Federal Regulations, parts 40 and 382 by current and prospective employees.

The Clearinghouse will provide FMCSA and employers the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations and ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads. Specifically, information maintained in the Clearinghouse will enable employers to identify drivers who commit a drug or alcohol program violation while working for one employer, but who fail to subsequently inform another employer (as required by current regulations). Records of drug and alcohol program violations will remain in the Clearinghouse for five years, or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process, whichever is later.

Employer Clearinghouse Requirements:


  • Register with the Clearinghouse.
  • Report drug and alcohol violations to the Clearinghouse, including refusals to take an alcohol or drug test, as well as actual knowledge of a violation.
  • Report negative return-to-duty test results and the successful completion of a driver’s follow-up testing plan.
  • Conduct a query using the Clearinghouse database to check if prospective employees are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating CMVs, due to an unresolved drug and alcohol program violation.
  • Employers are also required to query all current employees using the Clearinghouse at least annually. All queries require driver consent.

Driver Clearinghouse Requirements:

  • Provide electronic consent via the FMCSA Clearinghouse to release detailed drug and/or alcohol violation information in your clearinghouse record to a current or prospective employer (when an employer conducts a full query). 
  • Review their own Clearinghouse record and initiate the process to revise or remove incorrectly entered information.
  • Identify a substance abuse professional (SAP) to report on return-to-duty activities (if you have an unresolved drug and alcohol program violation in your Clearinghouse record).

Employers and drivers are required to register with the Clearinghouse no later than January 6, 2020 and are encouraged to do so in advance.  Registration can be completed by going to https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/.  FUELIowa will have more information available for members in the coming months leading up to the implementation of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol Clearinghouse.  FUELIowa members are encouraged to contact FUELIowa Regulatory Affairs Manager John Maynes with questions.  john@fueliowa.com; 515-421-4043.

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